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There’s a running joke in Clubland that when a bar starts having bikini nights, you can bet business ain’t great.

Under the umbrella category of “bikini night,” we can also put Jell-O wrestling, spaghetti wrestling, and pretty much anything that gets attractive young gals to wear as little clothing as possible, including theme parties.

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But someone must have forgotten to tell Darren Rhea, owner of Neon Moon Saloon. Even though business is as boot-scootin’ as ever at the long-standing Stockyards dance club, Rhea and company have recently gone forward with assorted theme nights, notably a pajama party, toga, and “naughty school girl” night. They’ve all been successful. As we all know, nothing gets cash registers a-ringin’ like purty girls. (For photographic documentation, check out www.theneonmoonsaloon.com.)

Don’t worry: When I visited last weekend on a non-themed night, my tush stayed firmly planted at the bar. Not that I would have wanted to cut the rug with some of the bods on parade (I’m almost engaged, thank you), but I had a good reason to stay put. Actually, about six of ’em. The Jack Daniels “Slushee” is not a real Slushee, naturally, but it does taste like one – one that just so happens to be loaded with cola and JD. At a meager $3.25, it’s also Last Call’s heat-beater of the summer.

Anyway, the Stockyards dance scene overall has been a little fickle lately. All of the other clubs seem to have conceded the weekends and young, middle-class partiers to Neon Moon. Maybe in this case, bikini night doesn’t mean “last-ditch pitch for business” but “eat our dust, competition.”

Sports Crazy

Last week, the Metroplex was Sportstown, U.S.A. – not only were the hometown Dallas Mavericks competing for the NBA championship, but the World Cup had kicked off.

Let’s just say I’m glad it’s all over.

Speaking as both a sports fan and, more importantly, a card-carrying member of Clubland, I thought the overall experience had its moments but was more or less exhausting. I don’t really follow soccer, but I didn’t expect the Mavs’ wonderful season to crumble beneath an orange t-bumper of Dwayne Wade jumpers.

I also expected to grab a drink somewhere in Clubland without having either soccer or hoops shoved down my throat. But no such luck.

You can’t blame club owners here, though. Take a look at our spot on the map and the two sports involved, and you’ll see why our hang-outs did right by showing the games.

First, basketball has always been an urban, blue-collar, blue-and-red-state sport, and while the Mavs have yet to win a championship, they’ve been knocking on the door for the past few years. Second, soccer is the only sport that appeals to the combination of groups that make up a large swath of our demographic: Hispanics, European and Asian immigrants, and moneyed suburbanites.

So here we have a sports-town hungry for a professional championship and populated by the kinds of people who love soccer – why did I expect anything less than overkill?

The biggest bright spot, far as I could tell, was brisk business. Every club I visited during games did well. I also discovered a way for some wily club owner to separate himself from the rest of the pack next time Cowtown goes sports crazy: Keep the tv’s locked on C-SPAN.

Contact Last Call at lastcall@fwweekly.com.

Neon Moon Saloon
2509 Rodeo Plaza, FW.
817-625-6666.

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